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Pursuing other Potential Income

To receive Child Care Subsidy, the household must pursue any income that the household may be eligible to receive. At the initial application and each renewal, you must ensure that the household has taken the relevant steps to pursue income.

Who must pursue income?

Only those household members whose income counts towards a child’s eligibility must pursue potential income. It does not apply to caretakers who are not legally and financially responsible or to the parents of an adopted child whose income does not count.

What types of income must the client pursue?

When speaking to the household about other sources of income, see if the household might qualify for any of these potential sources of income:

  • Social Security benefits,
  • Supplemental Security Income,
  • unemployment benefits,
  • veterans benefits, or
  • higher wages.

The household does not have to pursue SSI income for a person who has disabilities but must pursue all other sources of income.

At initial application and renewal, develop and case note a plan with the household’s input that explains what steps the client will take to increase the household’s income.

How will you know?

There are several ways you may learn that the client is not pursuing available income.

For example:

  • When you receive pay verification, it may indicate that the client is working at a lower pay rate or significantly fewer hours than the client previously verified.
  • The client may explain he or she refused a pay raise or chosen to work fewer hours to stay eligible or lower the copayment.
  • The client may have never applied for benefits to which he or she may have qualified.
  • The client may not have become the payee for a child’s Social Security benefits.

The first source of verification is the client’s statements during the interview. If necessary, you may need to contact the client’s employer or the agency issuing a benefit to confirm if the client applied or what happened. You must case note what you learn concerning the client’s pursuit of potential income.

Example 1:

Mike applies for Child Care for his daughter Theresa. Mike is working in the warehouse of a local retailer for $13 per hour. Mike works an average of 38 hours per week. At the interview, Mike explains his schedule is for 40 hours per week but he has had to miss due to sick days and family issues. He agrees to begin working his scheduled shift more consistently. At renewal, Mike is working an average of 35 hours per week. He explains business has slowed and everyone had their hours reduced. The employer confirms Mike’s new work schedule is for 37 hours per week. Has Mike failed to pursue available income?

No, it is not a failure to pursue income when changes in the work schedule or pay rate are the result of the employer’s—not the client’s—decision. This situation is not a situation where Mike has refused to pursue income.

 Example 2:

Claire applies for Child Care for her sons Dillon and Titus. She is a corporate accountant. After reviewing her application, Claire’s worker denies the application. Claire’s income exceeds the income standard for her household size. After receiving the denial notice, Claire reapplies. Her income verification is now below the income standard. Claire explains she decided to take a reduction in pay in order to be able to receive Child Care. Has Claire pursued available income?

Claire is trying to make her household eligible by reducing her income. She has not pursued the income available to her. Deny Claire’s application for failing to purse income. Use reason “CLIENT’S FAILURE TO COOPERATE-MAPS TO K16 AS 5C (44).” 

Example 3:

Rowan is receiving Child Care for his daughter Kendra. Rowan’s fourteen-year-old son Gordon has disabilities documented in an Independent Education Program and receives special education services through his school. Rowan reports he does not currently need Child Care for Gordon. When discussing the household’s available income, the worker documents that she and Rowan agree he should apply for SSI for Gordon. At the renewal, you notice Rowan did not submit an application. He reports he did not have the time to submit one. Has Rowan pursued the available income? 

Rowan had not pursued SSI income, but Policy specifically exempts clients for having to pursue SSI income for household members with disabilities. You should encourage the client to pursue this income, but if the client fails, do not take adverse action. 

Example 4:

After her husband died, Cherry applied for Child Care Subsidy benefits for her daughter Ginger, aged 9. Cherry works for a towing company. At the initial certification, the worker asked Cherry to apply for Social Security survivors benefits. At renewal, Cherry reports she has not applied. Has Cherry pursued the available income? 

No, she has failed to pursue income. Do not approve further care until she verifies that she applied for Social Security survivors benefits.

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